For those of us without bosses looming over our shoulders, staying on task can be difficult.
There are no penalties for brushing off work.
Nobody cares if you don’t meet the day’s goals.
You are solely responsible for your progress.
Think about that for a moment. You are 100 percent in control of whether or not you meet a writing goal, work on a project, pitch that story or dive into a new genre of writing. You alone.
No pressure, right?
Although I have deadlines for my client work, which push me forward, I don’t have a supervisor reminding me to get the work done for my two websites or personal writing pursuits.
I’m my own cheerleader.
I take a cue from my past employers and my current clients and create deadlines for myself. They’ve become part of my work routine each week to ensure that my productivity and publishing schedule maintain the cadence I need to keep my business running effectively.
A few weeks ago someone asked me how in the world I publish on my writer’s website blog every single week.
Answer: Self-imposed deadlines. Period.
For this blog, I block out time on my Google Calendar each week on Monday afternoon to work on a new draft or two. Every Wednesday morning I’m scheduled to polish a draft and format it for WordPress. One post goes live each Thursday.
On Tuesday and Thursday mornings I have time blocked out for brainstorming ideas, both for my two blogs and for my clients.
It’s all intentional, organized and scheduled.
If you’re trying to stabilize your blogging practice, build credibility by publishing regularly and catch the eyes of potential clients, consider trying a similar approach.
Create a schedule, with deadlines, and stick to it.
If you’re wondering how I actually stay on track with these self-imposed deadlines, I give myself little rewards. Some are silly, like cookies and chocolate. Others include watching a movie, taking a half-day off or buying a new pair of yoga pants.
Do what you must to stay focused and writing.
Sometimes I leave a pile of unpaid bills on my desk to remind me to keep pressing on. It works.